Historical

If you've ever wondered how giant bronze statues could be cast in one piece, the Getty Research Institute is here to cool your fevered brow. It has created a great video explaining all the steps in the casting and installation of Edme Bouchardon's equestrian statue of King Louis XV that stood in the Place Louis XV, today known as the Place de la Concorde.

The video was created for the exhibition [...]

Sat, Aug 11, 2018
Source: The History Blog

A group of federal prisoners classified as “most dangerous” arrives at Alcatraz Island, a 22-acre rocky outcrop situated 1.5 miles offshore in San Francisco Bay. The convicts–the first civilian prisoners to be housed in the new high-security penitentiary–joined a few dozen military prisoners left over from the island's days as a U.S. military prison.

Alcatraz was an uninhabited seabird haven when it was explored by Spanish Lieutenant Juan Manuel de [...]

Fri, Aug 10, 2018

An excavation the Ness of Brodgar, a Neolithic archaeological site on the Orkney island of Mainland, has unearthed the glossiest stone axe I've ever seen, and prehistoric axes are one of my obsessions so I've seen quite a few. Even the professional archaeologists from the Ness of Brodgar Trust and the Archaeology Institute of the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) who have been excavating the site for years [...]

Fri, Aug 10, 2018
Source: The History Blog

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Fri, Aug 10, 2018
Source: History Today

After a decade of debate about how best to spend a bequest left to America from an obscure English scientist, President James K. Polk signs the Smithsonian Institution Act into law.

In 1829, James Smithson died in Italy, leaving behind a will with a peculiar footnote. In the event that his only nephew died without any heirs, Smithson decreed that the whole of his estate would go to “the United States of America, [...]

Thu, Aug 09, 2018

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